WDC welcomes Regeneration Plan approval

Mayor David Ayers has expressed delight at today’s approval of the Waimakariri Residential Red Zone Recovery plan by the Crown.

“This has been a thorough process that has involved extensive community consultation and we’re very pleased with the outcome,” Mr Ayers said.

“That the Crown has taken on board the contribution from the community and signed off on the thoughts and ideas of the people of Kaiapoi and The Pines Kairaki is a tribute to the work of everyone who participated in the process.”

Council portfolio holder for (Kaiapoi) Regeneration, Cr Al Blackie echoed the Mayor’s thoughts, and acknowledged the large number of people who had been involved to get the development to this point.

“I would like to thank everyone who participated: my elected colleagues, community leaders, the people of Kaiapoi, and the council staff who worked on the plan,” Mr Blackie said.

“It will be very satisfying for everyone who was involved to see the words ‘Red Zone’ removed from our collective vocabularies to be replaced by the term ‘Regeneration’.”

The Minister of Supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration Mr Gerry Brownlee announced the Crown’s approval of the Plan in Wellington today.

“I’m confident the Recovery Plan strikes the right balance between public green spaces and developments that will promote the wellbeing of Waimakariri communities and economic growth in the district,” Mr Brownlee said.

 “I would like to thank the Waimakariri District Council for its hard work in the Recovery Plan process and for ensuring there was comprehensive public participation throughout.

“The Council’s ongoing commitment to the regeneration of the Waimakariri district will help guarantee the long-term success of the land uses.”

Waimakariri MP Matthew Doocey says today’s announcement was recognition that the community had taken ownership of its future.

“The Minister’s endorsement, following a time of exciting growth and progress for our district, reinforces we were heard,” Mr Doocey said.

“With its vibrant town centre, Kaiapoi is a destination of choice.  We can look forward to some great new facilities and spaces to cement the town’s future direction and reputation as a great place to live,” Mr Doocey says.

Crown approval means that the next phase of the regeneration can begin, allowing the community to see their ideas soring into being.

“This is an important step in the regeneration of Kaiapoi, The Pines Beach and Kairaki,” Mr Ayers said.

“It provides certainty about the future use of the regeneration areas and creates exciting opportunities for the local community and the district.  The approval of the Recovery Plan is also a key step in towards enabling the Council to complete repairs to damaged infrastructure (roads and services).” 

Council has $6 million dollars budgeted to implement the Recovery Plan. This will not cover all projects.  In the future, additional funding will be sought through Council’s Long Term Plan process.

The Recovery Plan contains proposed land uses and activities for the five regeneration areas of Kaiapoi West, Kaiapoi South, Kaiapoi East, The Pines Beach and Kairaki. 

These include new parks and reserves, walking and cycling links, a BMX track, a dog park, mixed use business areas, provision for heritage and mahinga kai activities, roads and infrastructure sites and rural activities. 

The next step is the implementation of the Plan. 

Some projects will be completed in the short to medium term (one to five years) and other will take longer (out to 30 years).

Council will lead the implementation working with its key partners; the Crown, Te Rῡnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Te Ngāi Tῡāhuriri Rῡnanga, and Environment Canterbury; the Kaiapoi-Tuahiwi Community Board, resident and community groups and the community.

“Before Council can start implementing the Recovery Plan we need to work with the Crown to determine how the regeneration areas will be transferred to Council (and others),” Mr Ayers said.

“This is called the land divestment process. While this is occurring we will continue with more detailed planning.”

The planning will include design work to help bring the ideas identified in the plan, for land use and activities, to life.

“The community will be involved in the design and planning of the Regeneration Areas, particularly the proposed new green spaces;” Mr Ayers said 

“There will also be opportunities for the community to work with Council on some projects in the regeneration areas for example edible landscapes (food forests) and native revegetation.

The first steps of the implementation will start early next year. These will involve

  • Working with the Crown on a Land Divestment Plan
  • Preparing a timeline/schedule for regeneration area projects
  • Preparing a Participation Strategy which will outline how the community can be involved in the regeneration areas

“We will keep you informed of how we are going, and how you can be involved,” Mr Ayers said.

Contact: Matt McIlraith

Phone: 03 311 8900